Collaboration is an essential factor for the success of any organization. The silo mentality is when employees become hesitant to share information, ideas, and resources with their counterparts from a different department. This toxic attribute reduces the organization’s productivity and, in worst cases, leads to a damaged corporate culture. It occurs when the employees start thinking that it is not their duty to communicate with their workmates or other departments (Ginter et al., 2018). This mindset comes as a result of main competition with other teams or individuals. The leadership has the responsibility to recognize the silo mentality in their organizations and solve the problem by creating an effective long-term remedy that is adaptable, practicable, and realistic. Organizational goals become difficult to achieve when each department or employee is not considering what others are doing in order to ensure they work together to achieve the set targets (Rosen et al., 2018). This attitude poses many risks to the organization and needs to be eliminated. Some of the strategies to reduce the silo mentality are creating a unified vision, motivating workers toward a common purpose, and creating an interdepartmental collaboration environment.
The first approach is to create a unified vision for all employees to work toward. Silos kill productivity in a healthcare organization, cause wastage of resources, and threaten the motive of the collective achievement of goals (Ginter et al., 2018). The leader should take responsibility and minimize the possibility of developing the silo attitude by leaving the past detectable issues and addressing the incidental issues present in the organization’s core. Employees need to move in one direction, but the executive team also must be involved and at the forefront (Mayo & Woolley, 2016). It is masterful that the executive team agrees on a unified vision of the company. Managers should have a good knowledge of the organization’s long-term goals, aims, and crucial actions, and they all buy into that as a unit before relaying it to the other employees. Therefore, a unified vision gives the employees faith, creates accreditation in them, and breaks the silo mentality.
Secondly, leaders should lead their juniors in working together toward a collective achievement for all to claim its success. After the leadership team has concluded embracing the organization’s vision and mission, it is upon them to look for the underlying factors leading to the existence of silos. In most scenarios, organizational aims are known, but it is up to the executive team to identify obstacles and inspire employees to achieve them (Mayo & Woolley, 2016). Additionally, leaders can provide incentives to the workforce, and a good leader can recognize what best suits the criteria of a stimulus. Therefore, the leader needs to communicate with every member of the management and tell them to incentivize their employees accordingly when they identify a common goal.
Moreover, the leadership team should establish common targets to achieve a specific target as a group. In addition, the benchmarks for success should be established for every worker to work with them (Rosen et al., 2018). The leader should delegate the specific task and objectives each individual should have. Scheduled meetings should be held regularly in order to hold every employee accountable. In this way, Rosen et al. (2018) add that each employee will not have a notion in mind that it is not my duty but will work hard to see its excellence. Therefore, setting collective targets is a crucial way of reducing the silo mentality and improving collaboration.
Finally, the leadership team needs to demonstrate collaboration by working in partnership with other departmental heads in order to cultivate the same mentality in their juniors. In healthcare, cooperation is an essential element, and it should be a part of organizational culture (Tett, 2016). The team must have proficiency, teamwork, creativity, and confidence, without which achieving organizational goals will not be possible. In order to encourage the team to have the traits, the management should allow for cross-departmental interaction (Tett, 2016). This cross-departmental cooperation will reduce the silo mentality and increase cooperation between the teams. Therefore, leaders need to be role models in collaboration to enable their juniors to emulate it, reducing the silo mentality.
In conclusion, dealing with the silo attitude is not a simple task, but avoiding the issues would be fatal to the organization’s well-being. Creating a unified vision will see the employees moving in one direction and achieving a common goal. Moreover, the management team needs to be an excellent example in promoting collaboration by working together with other departmental heads within the healthcare organization so that their juniors can emulate. In addition, when the employees are motivated and given incentives, their morale will rise, making them work together as one, thereby eliminating the possibility of selfish drive in the accomplishment of corporate goals. Teamwork among employees has always been a leading factor in the success of many organizations. Therefore, owing to the risk that the silo mentality poses to the organization, leaders need to improve collaboration in their organization by adopting the strategies mentioned above.
Ginter, P. M., Duncan, J., & Swayne, L. E. (2018). The strategic management of healthcare organizations. John Wiley & Sons.
Mayo, A. T., & Woolley, A. W. (2016). Teamwork in health care: Maximizing collective intelligence via inclusive collaboration and open communication. AMA Journal of Ethics, 18(9), 933-940. Web.
Rosen, M. A., DiazGranados, D., Dietz, A. S., Benishek, L. E., Thompson, D., Pronovost, P. J., & Weaver, S. J. (2018). Teamwork in healthcare: Key discoveries enabling safer, high-quality care. The American Psychologist, 73(4), 433–450. Web.
Tett, G. (2016). The silo effect: The peril of expertise and the promise of breaking down barriers. Simon & Schuster.